How’s your expertise looking? Mine’s not what it should be. There is coming a time, soon, when I will want to make sure I’ve paid some attention to my expertise value.
Expertise is different than hit rating. Increasing hit rating reduces the miss chance. That is, of course, a Good Thing. However, hit rating does not affect the chance for you to be dodged or parried. Those come from expertise.
When fighting a raid boss, he has a base 6.5% chance to dodge and a large chance (greater than 10%, maybe as high as 16%) to parry your attacks. At face value, that is a huge issue… that’s more than 16-20% of your attacks! However, we can a large chunk of that out immediately by attacking from behind the boss. When you are behind the target you cannot be parried, only dodged. So now only 6.5% of your attacks are subject to this problem. Whew!
You can further reduce this with expertise. Note that there is a difference between Expertise and Expertise Rating.
Each point of Expertise reduces the chance to be dodged AND parried by 0.25%. That means that if you can get 26 points of Expertise, you will reduce the dodge chance to zero.
Expertise is gained from Expertise Rating. At level 80, every 8.2 Expertise Rating gives you 1 Expertise. Therefore, if you have 216 points of Expertise Rating, barring other effects from talents and such, you will be at 26 Expertise. This is made a little more complex by talents.
- In the Combat tree, the Weapon Expertise talent gives you up to 10 Expertise. So combat rogues only need an additional 16 Expertise from their rating points. That’s just 132 expertise rating.
- Humans get 3 Expertise when using a sword or mace. So a human Combat spec rogue wielding a sword or mace already has 13 Expertise (from the racial and 2/2 Weapon Expertise) and needs only another 13 from rating points. That’s just 107 expertise rating.
So why is this important now? Many rogues ignore expertise rating in favor of hit rating. We’ve been conditioned over the years to think that hit rating is the most important stat, and old habits are hard to break. Besides, when the base miss chance is 28%, but the base dodge chance is only 6.5% its easy to see why we put more value on hit rating.
An upcoming fight is going to bring this issue to the forefront. In Ulduar, there is a boss called Kologarn. Because of the positioning of the fight, and the fact that the boss is the size of a building, melee cannot get behind him.
That means that instead of just the 6.5% dodge chance, we now also have to deal with the parry chance. If you allow 16-20% of your attacks to be avoided, your dps will suffer greatly. Expertise reduces both dodge and parry, so you will want to have a gear set with some expertise, even if its just for this fight. While the expertise cap listed above (26) is reachable, you are not likely to be expertise-capped when standing in front of the boss because the parry chance is too high. But when you are in front of the boss, expertise > hit rating. Gem and enchant accordingly.
Good sources of Expertise:
- Chestguard of the Recluse from 25-man Malygos gives a whopping 83 expertise rating
- The Mark of Norgannon, also from Malygos 25, has 65 expertise rating
- The Mask of the Watcher, while not an epic, is still a very good pre-Naxx head slot item with a meta-gem slot. It drops from Heroic Oculus and has 62 expertise rating
- Concealment Shoulderpads from 25-man Obsidian Sanctum have 53 expertise rating
- The Leggings of Discord from Maexxna in 25-man Naxx have 53 expertise rating
- The Tunic of Dislocation from Gothik in 25-man Naxx have 45 expertise rating
- Collar of Dissolution dropped by Anub’rekhan in 10-man Naxx has 38 rating
- The Trollwoven Girdle, made by Leatherworkers, has 38 rating
That’s a partial list of the highest expertise items. For a thorough list, click here to see Wowhead’s item rankings. Also don’t forget that you can enchant your bracers with +15 expertise rating and your gloves with +15 expertise rating. I wouldn’t recommend replacing good AP enchants with those unless you were really hurting for expertise. In addition, gems with the Accurate or Precise cut have +expertise rating.
I have a few of those items in my bank, since I have since replaced them with better items. I’m glad I didn’t throw them away. I’ll carry them with me when we start progressing through Ulduar.